I’ve been making variations of Spanish Romesco—a deeply flavorful nut-and-red pepper-sauce from Catalonia—for years, after tasting a version at Chef Adolfo Garcia's Restaurant Riomar in New Orleans. The smoky piquillo pepper-based sauce was paired with rare yellowfin tuna and a garbanzo bean purée. Over the years, I've subbed in salted Marcona almonds or walnuts and different types of chiles. The most recent rendition that I can’t seem to get enough of is from the cookbook “Nopi” by the much-loved British chef and author Yotam Ottolenghi.
One of my favorite ways to showcase the flavors is with a simple platter of grilled vegetables, including spring asparagus, carrots, and radishes. If you’re waiting for warmer days to start the grill, you can roast the vegetables instead: Line a sheet pan with parchment paper, toss vegetables with olive oil and season with a bit of salt and pepper and roast in a single layer at 400° for about 15 minutes or until golden and tender when pierced with a sharp knife point.
Romesco sauce is versatile and packs a punch of flavor. Slather it on bread to top with a soft-boiled egg for breakfast or a snack. It also pairs well with Alaskan true cod, wild salmon and spot shrimp, duck confit, and all types of steak and chicken.
Date Published: May 16, 2016
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